Sid Valley Biodiversity Group report: town council supports environmental work

A small tortoiseshell butterfly. Picture: Chris Lockyear

A small tortoiseshell butterfly. Picture: Chris Lockyear - Credit: Archant

The Sid Valley Biodiversity Group contributes regular reports to the Herald. Here, Chris Lockyer and Denise Bickley from Sidmouth Town Council’s Environment Committee outline what the council is doing to support nature and wildlife.

A fox. Picture: Chris Lockyear

A fox. Picture: Chris Lockyear - Credit: Archant

The Sid Valley is a special place for all those who choose to call it home, and it attracts thousands of visitors every year who come to enjoy its natural beauty.

It is also home to a wide range of animals, plants and birds.

This biodiversity is not only attractive but also vital to maintain a healthy environment for all of us.

Biodiversity was therefore identified as a key policy area in the Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan.

Bee orchids. Picture: Charles Sinclair

Bee orchids. Picture: Charles Sinclair - Credit: Archant

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The Town Council Environment Committee supports the Sid Valley Biodiversity Group as an important step in the creation of a Town Biodiversity Plan.

This will be nested with the Devon County Council Biodiversity Plan so the work can be as efficient as possible.

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The town council will also play its part through progressive management of its estate.

For example, next year, verges will be left uncut during the spring, apart from an edge next to paths to ensure easy passage, and next to junctions to allow clear visibility. This will support both wildflower and pollinating insects’ growth – and we should see an increase in small mammal and bird populations as a result.

A common lizard. Picture: : Charles Sinclair

A common lizard. Picture: : Charles Sinclair - Credit: Archant

To understand and quantify our biodiversity a large number of surveys are planned. These are important in creating a baseline and as a way of measuring progress over the coming years.

The town council will therefore host the results on the new Live Sidmouth website and make it freely available to all.

In addition to the Sid Valley Biodiversity Group, we will also work with land owners and other organisations such as the Sidmouth Arboretum, Sid Vale Association and Sidmouth in Bloom to ensure that land is managed in a way that maximises the number of species in the Sid Valley.

We would encourage anyone who is interested in nature and biodiversity to volunteer to help the group.

Working together, we will be able to ensure that our valley remains a place we will all want to continue to live in and visit and where our natural environment is valued and appreciated for years to come.

Contact for further information.

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